A grey day and rather cold. Despite these negative attributes of the morn I headed off in the trusty horseless carriage in search of Lough Fea. This geographical feature is situated in the Sperrins some six miles from Draperstown and was the venue for a five kilometre trail run organised by Sperrin Harriers. The route took us around the lough with the start some one thousand metres back from the finish to gain the necessary distance. The start time was noon. A very sensible time for non locals like myself who have to travel a substantial distance. I didn't have to set the alarm for some ungodly hour.
The path around the lough is not very wide. At its widest it is probably no more than five feet across. The start was going to be fun I though! Flags with anticipated finish times informed the runners where they should line up. The back flag was for those who anticipated taking in excess of thirty minutes to complete their run. The front flag was for the sub eighteeners. Thankfully everyone seemed to be fairly honest and realistic in their expectations and there didn't seem to be any pushing and barging and certainly there were no fallers.
There were only three or four modest inclines around the course so one might have anticipated that it was going to be a fast course. However there were also a similar number of right angled turns which meant you had to slow down going into the turns and then accelerate out. Perforce this results in a loss of time and takes more energy. The gravel paths also militate against optimum speed. That said it was an enjoyable course and its sinuosity gave it an interest which is lacking with many road based five kilometre races.
I haven't managed to discover my finishing time as yet but I expect that it will turn out to be in the high eighteens. Apparently there were 134 participants in the event. A goodish number for a rural run.